Car Accidents Involving Government-Owned Vehicles and Government Workers
The way car accidents are handled among civilians is completely different from the way they’re dealt with when a government-owned vehicle is involved. If you get into an accident with another civilian, you file a claim with your insurer and usually that is it. In the case of a government-owned vehicle, however, there are some extra procedural hurdles you must overcome. A Midvale car accident lawyer can help you understand the legal process when government-owned vehicles are involved.
Why Are Governments Different?
The simple answer is because governments are immune from liability. Historically this acted as a complete stop to all forms of lawsuits, both personal injuries and contract disputes. However, the modern trend is for state and city governments to waive immunity, but there are strict procedures and deadlines with which you must comply or risk dismissal of your claim.
What Are these Procedures?
The rules may change depending upon the circumstances of your accident, but generally you can’t just sue the Utah state government. Instead, you must file an official complaint with the government entity that owned the vehicle – whether that is the police, trash collection or city maintenance. So, it is important when you are exchanging information with other driver that you get a business card or find out the identify of his employer.
Bear in mind that there may be a statute of limitations on when you may file your complaint. Waiting too long could bar your recovery. If you have any questions about these deadlines you should speak to your Midvale car accident lawyer.
The Administrative Hearing
After you file a complaint with the proper entity, you will be given a response and hearing date. This is often referred to as an “administrative hearing,” which means that you are not in a courtroom. During the hearing the government entity will either grant or deny your claim. If your claim is denied then you may file a lawsuit in state court.
Most claims should be resolved at the administrative level. Government entities are generally encouraged to settle meritorious claims. If you were injured in a car crash with a government-owned vehicle then you should consult with a Midvale car accident lawyer. This is safest way to ensure that you get compensation for your injuries and for the damage to your car.